Muriel Bowser won the Democratic nomination for mayor Tuesday, defeating incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray. Here are some highlights from the night at three of the candidates’ watch parties.
Bowser’s supporters dance, celebrate
By Hatchet reporter Sam Morse
About 250 people gathered in Southeast D.C., where they danced and chanted “All eight wards” while eating chicken and macaroni and listening to songs by LL Cool J and 50 Cent.
“We need freshness, and she has that,” campaign volunteer Deborah Johnson said.
Bowser pulled in about 44 percent of the vote, besting Gray and a field of candidates that included three other D.C. Council members. She brought her family onstage for her victory speech.
“I will run a campaign of integrity and vision and energy and inclusion. I promise that the values of our campaign will reflect the collective values of those of us in all eight wards,” she said.
Gray concedes defeat
By Hatchet reporters Brandon Lee and Laura Porter
After starting their day at 6 a.m. to draw voters to the polls, an effort that failed overall in an election with low turnout, Gray’s campaign volunteers mingled with supporters at his watch party.
With 32 percent of the vote, he conceded defeat and congratulated Bowser a little after midnight.
“I want to thank everybody who worked with us. This will not be an experience where we drift into the end of this administration. We will work very hard,” Gray said.
Terry Shelton, a Ward 4 resident who voted for Gray, said federal prosecutors’ accusations that Gray knew about the more than $600,000 shadow campaign, which buoyed his 2010 bid, cost him the election.
“[Residents] feel very reluctant to cast a vote for fear that the other shoe would drop,” Shelton said. “Had it not been for that, then perhaps we may have won.”
An early night for Evans
By Hatchet reporters Rachael Gerendasy and Kristen Barnes
Evans arrived at Stoney’s Lounge on P Street at about 9 p.m. Tuesday. He circled the room to shake hands and hug supporters, with Michael Jackson and Prince songs blaring from the speakers.
“We went out there today and we covered the polls and we knocked them dead. It was a great scene as I drove around our city and saw all of our supporters. Let’s hope this goes our way, but if it doesn’t, it doesn’t, and I will be eternally grateful,” Evans said, addressing about 100 supporters before leaving the restaurant.
After finishing with less than 5 percent of the vote, Evans made a quiet exit at about 10:30 p.m.
“He just wanted to be at home and rest with his family. He has worked very hard these past two and a half weeks, so after celebrating with his supporters here, he went to go be with his family,” fundraising events coordinator Robert Leming said.